In the past fifteen years, the University has signed multiple national and global sustainability commitments, such as the 2003 Talloires Declaration, the 2007 American College and University President’s Climate Commitment, and the 2015 American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge (OFSb 2017). These commitments set ambitious climate action goals and address the responsibility of colleges and universities not only to cultivate a culture of environmental stewardship on campus but also to transform their conventional operational systems into sustainable systems. The University of Richmond’s 2017 Sustainability Report highlights the steps the University has taken to achieve these goals and identifies areas in need of improvement. The report adopts the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), which is a transparent, self-reporting framework used by hundreds of colleges and universities worldwide to measure their sustainability performance (AASHE 2017). In 2016, the University earned a Silver STARS rating, demonstrating the considerable efforts made by the University to integrate sustainability into its campus-wide practices (OFSa 2017). Even so, there remains much room for improvement. One area of campus that scored low in the Sustainability Report was Dining Services (1.13/7.00), which we determined was an important operational function of the University to demonstrate leadership in its environmental resources. Given the challenges of maintaining a sustainable food system in the context of climate change and prompted by Dining’s low score in the 2017 Sustainability Report, this project seeks to determine the current state of food security among students at the University as well as to analyze the larger context in which our food system is embedded.

Paper prepared for the Environmental Studies Senior Seminar/Geography Capstone.

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Unpublished Paper

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